This beautiful Vitesse came into my possession by chance only recently. Here's the story...
In late 2019 I bought a block of garages and this car was stored in one of them. I didn't know who the owner was, so I went knocking on doors in the neighbourhood and gradually got some information.
I pieced together the info and eventually tracked the owner down to a care home in Exeter, not too far from the garage. Neighbours said she adored the car and always talked about driving it again, but there was no chance of that given her age and ill health. I wasn't able to meet her or chat with her about the car due to her dementia, so I just kept the garage secure and made sure the car was looked after. She passed in 2020... I believe aged 99.
The solicitor for the owner's estate said she didn't have any family and the car had been left to a large charity. The charity didn't want the car, so I agreed to buy it. It legally became mine in January this year.
The car is stored in my garage in Exeter, but I've come to realise I'm not really going to use it much at all. Although I've become very fond of it, I'd rather it went to someone who was passionate about Triumphs and who'll get the opportunity to use it more, show her off, and generally just love being the proud owner for the next phase in her history.
About the car...
As you can see from the photos, the car is in great condition. It's not perfect, but I expect it has been kept garaged since new.
I know that the car was restored by SW Classics in 1994. The mileage is just over 27k, which I assume is since restoration.
Very disappointingly, I have none of the history. Given how much the owner loved the car, I had hoped the solicitor would've found a folder full of things in her property. However, despite asking numerous times, nothing has turned up. I have a key (which I had cut from the ignition number) and the V5C, which I applied for with the DVLA via the probate solicitor.
The V5C says I am the second owner. My understanding from neighbours was that this car was owned by the mother, then the daughter, which would make this two former keepers. However, if the V5 is correct, there’s only one keeper before me.
The car appears to have been MOTd every year up until 2018, according to the gov MOT records. The mileage has only increased by 20-30 miles every year as far back as records go. My assumption is that the garage picked it up, MOTd and serviced it, and dropped it back, for at least the last 16 years. I did call the garage to see if they had any info, but the owner has since retired and it's now under new ownership.
The engine starts well, and it revs and idles like a dream. I have taken it for a short drive (2-3 miles maybe) and the engine didn't miss a beat. The brakes are binding so it's not good to drive, but I'm sure this is a relatively simple fix for the mechanically minded. I also couldn't find third gear after a couple of attempts and decided not to try again. A forum member advised third is off to an angle on this gearbox, but I haven't driven it a second time to try.
Externally the car is very good, as you can see. SW Classics seem to have a great reputation too. A couple of the rubber window seals could do with being replaced as the rubber has degraded, but otherwise she's pretty good.
Inside she's a untidy in places, but still great for being nearly 60 years old. The carpets could do with being refitted, the stitching on the drivers seat is loose in one place, and the lacquer is coming off the dash, but everything seems to work as expected.
The car looks to be original. There may have been the odd modification, but I do not know these cars so I cannot say for sure. The person buying it will undoubtedly know a lot more about these cars and its originality.
This is pretty much everything I know about this little lovely Triumph.
I've asked for valuation advice on the TSSC forum and was told £8-10k. I was also given a link to the insurance values (which showed concours as 10k). Given it needs a little TLC as mentioned above, the lower end of the forum's range might be realistic.
UPDATE: 17 March. The car's restorer has seen the advert and got in touch! He has been able to confirm some of what I know about the car's history, and also gave some details about the car's restoration in 1994. I'll be able to share this information with any viewers/ the new owner.
This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise.
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